Got an early start (well, for me) this morning, and made my way over to Palo Alto’s University Ave. to try the morning offerings at Caffe del Doge. The café is a branch of a well-regarded Venetian roaster with a stand-up coffee bar and some sidewalk tables.
The house-baked cornetti (Italian croissants) were cooling on the counter when I arrived before 8:30. But I was soon distracted by the big glass jar full of sugar-dusted bombolini. The counter girl said that the bombolini were filled with chocolate or vanilla custard and were just delivered by an outside bakery. They’re $3 each and only available on Saturdays. Unable to choose between them, both a chocolate bombolino plus a cornetto alla marmellata, $2.50, ended up on my plate.
Worth a try, but not so thrilled with the bombolino. Mostly custard with just enough fried dough around it to hold together, also somewhat small for the price. On the other hand, I loved the cornetto. They’re imported frozen, then proofed and baked here. A bit drier and not a butter bomb like a French croissant, however, more flavorful with many tender layers under the crunchy crust. The strawberry preserves were just the right amount, and I’m looking forward to polishing off the rest of this later today.
The cappuccino was dreamy with a dense, thick foam, and I didn’t need that nubbin of sugar. The coffee was very rich with chocolatey undertones, and I’d be willing to try an espresso here.
Caffe del Doge
419 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301